Working name of film and television animator Fred Laderman (1927-2021), known for being among the first to bring Japanese Anime to North America by combining animated and documentary material from overseas with domestic library footage. The Space Explorers (1957) and New Adventures of the Space Explorers (1959) were based largely on Soviet films, including Space Documentaries and the animated sf film Polet na Lunu ["Flight to the Moon"] (1953). Ladd's early involvement in the adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's Manga Astro Boy (1952-1968) into the animated series Astro Boy (1963-1966) helped popularize the "anime" aesthetic. Astro Boy was remade for Television as New Mighty Atom (1980), and again under its original name in 2003, before becoming the basis of the animated feature Astro Boy (2010).
Ladd used the Soviet animation Murzilka na Sputnike (1960) as the foundation for the US-syndicated Mister E from Tau Ceti (1963), and the pilot of the Japanese animated tv series Tetsujin 28 Go ["Iron Man No 28"] (1963-1966) as the inspiration for the US adaptation Gigantor (1964-1966), before supervising the initial colourization of black-and-white Looney Tunes (1930-1943) and Betty Boop (1930-1939) cartoons in the late 1960s. Ladd dubbed and partly reshot the Czech animated short Cesta do praveku ["Trip into Prehistory"] (1955) to make the animated feature A Journey to the Beginning of Time (1966) and then edited the Japanese animated feature Ozu no mahōtsukai ["The Wizard of Oz"] (1982) – itself faithful to the famous novel by Frank L Baum – for an American audience. The animated television series G-Force: Guardians of Space (1986) followed the success of rival Sandy Frank Entertainment's Battle of the Planets (1978-1985) – both series being adapted from the Japanese anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (1972) – and was syndicated by networks in the US. Ladd was also a creative consultant on the popular animated series Sailor Moon (1992-1997). [GF/MD]
born Toledo, Ohio: 19 February 1927
died Los Angeles, California: 3 August 2021
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